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Karch Kiraly to speak at local benefit

Volleyball icon Karch Kiraly will be our honored guest speaker on Monday, September 13, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Elks Lodge. This special event, graciously sponsored by the Chumash Casino and the Santa Barbara Elks will directly benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.

Karch Kiraly is a three-time Olympic gold medalist.  Kiraly is the only male volleyball player to win three Olympic gold medals and was named by FIVB as the Greatest Male Volleyball Player of the 20th Century.  Kiraly was a member of the U.S. Men’s Indoor Volleyball Team that won the gold medal at both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.  Additionally, Kiraly served as captain of the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team from 1985-88, including the 1988 Olympic Team, along with the winning U.S. teams from the 1985 World Cup and the 1986 World Championships. He went on to win the inaugural gold medal for Olympic beach volleyball at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.

Kiraly holds the beach volleyball record with 148 career wins, breaking the all-time mark of 139 in 1999.  He was named to the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2001 and was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame on June 19, 2008.

“We are excited to have such fabulous talent for this event, because the children of this community need us now more than ever,” said Roger Perry, Board Member.  “Karch has reached the pinnacle of his profession and serves not only as a role model to up and coming young athletes, but is an individual who through his ongoing philanthropic work and coaching recognizes the importance of supporting our community and specifically children in need.”

Karch Kiraly will be introduced by his father, Dr. Laszlo “Las” Kiraly, along with comments from his former coaches Rick Olmstead and Al Scates.  Las played volleyball for the Hungarian Jr. National team and was instrumental in his son’s career, introducing Kiraly to the game at an early age.  By the time Kiraly was 11 years old, he had entered his first beach tournament with his father.  Coach Olmstead was Kiraly’s high school coach leading the team to a CIF championship in 1978.  He currently officiates on a collegiate.  Coach Scates, Kiraly’s college coach at UCLA has 49 seasons of excellence in coaching.  He has led UCLA to 19 NCAA titles, capturing nearly half of the championships awarded since 1970.

The United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County opened doors to our community’s children in 1945.  We currently are comprised of four Clubhouses located in Carpinteria, Westside Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Lompoc and a 55 acre residential camp. Our organization serves these five communities throughout Santa Barbara County, helping over 8,400 youngsters. Our goal since inception 65 years ago is to provide ongoing programs that provide children with a positive experiences – socially, educationally, physically, and emotionally under guidance of caring adults.

For more information about this event, or to purchase tickets, please call or e-mail Sal Rodriguez as noted above.  For media:  Footage and/or photos upon request.